Eugene C. Kennedy, Author Doubleday Books $18.95 (311p) ISBN 978-0-385-24592-0
Kennedy ( Himself: The Life and Times of Mayor Richard Daley ) brings a considerable knowledge of dirty politics--secular and otherwise--to this rather plodding novel of murder and maneuvering at the Vatican. Jimbo Tracy, a dissolute Time magazine correspondent in Rome, is bowled over when his younger brother Michael, a priest on the rise in the Catholic hierarchy, says he intends to turn in his collar and marry an ex-nun. Before Mike can do so, the Pope dies mysteriously and bombs begin exploding all over Rome--mainly, it seems, to break up the constant bickering between the Tracy brothers. During the ensuing investigation, a host of Catholic cardinals angle for the seat of power, the CIA casts its own vote, and a would-be saint with burning eyes slips around mysteriously. Himself a former priest, Kennedy's account of power-brokering at the Vatican is eye-opening, but the novel's pacing is slow and muddled and Jimbo is a tiresome, maudlin misogynist. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
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